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I am doing some changes on the Hilsen at a most inopportune time of the year – Bike to Work Month.

I had picked up a compact double Sugino crank in 170mm instead of my usual 175mm.  As long as I can remember, I’ve always ridden 175s, and lately my psyche was telling me that my legs were extending up too far and it would help my knees to go with a shorter crank.

It seems like internet-lore is very inconsistent on the “proper” length of cranks, although there is a lot of pseudo science about it.  I decided to do my normal “test it myself” routine.  I left the Tange bottom bracket that came on the bike, and simply swapped the crank out.  The old crank was a triple 24-36-46, and the new one is 34-48.  I also changed out the chain and cassette as it was quite gunked up.  I got a Wipperman 808 that I love – best connector link I’ve used – super simple.  I slapped on my older SRAM 8-speed 12-30.

The DuraAce 7800GS I have used since the bike was new has never had a warm spot in my heart, and I had been reading good things about the LX derailers.  I picked up one cheap on e-bay, and set it up, as well.

Since I was in a changing mood, I also swapped my Porteur bars and bar-end shifters for Nitto Randonneur bars and down-tube shifters.  I always liked having the clean simplicity of this shifting setup, and it’s been windy lately, so I wanted to get more aero.

Phew – lots of change in the middle of a high-mileage month.  I’ll give a more detailed report on how this is working out later this week.